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Astronomy Articles

NASA Measures Fast-Spinning, Supermassive Black Hole NASA Measures Fast-Spinning, Supermassive Black Hole
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NASA today revealed that it has teamed up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to, for the first time, measure the spin rate of a supermassive black hole. Using NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the ESA’s XMM-Newton, astronomers …

NASA’s Kepler Finds Extra-Solar Planets Smaller Than Earth NASA’s Kepler Finds Extra-Solar Planets Smaller Than Earth
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Over the past year, NASA’s Kepler mission has found hundreds of possible planets outside of our solar system, and even a few candidates for Earth-like planets. This week, astronomers revealed that a new system has been found that contains planets …

NASA’s Cassini Probe Finds Accelerated Particles Around Saturn NASA’s Cassini Probe Finds Accelerated Particles Around Saturn

NASA this week revealed that a “chance encounter” with solar wind around Saturn has allowed the Cassini probe to detect particles being accelerated to high energy states. The phenomenon is similar to the acceleration of high-energy cosmic rays found coming …

Nicolaus Copernicus Google Doodle Celebrates Heliocentrism Nicolaus Copernicus Google Doodle Celebrates Heliocentrism
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Today, I’d say that we’re at least fairly certain that the Earth (and all the other planets) revolve around the sun, and not the other way around. I don’t want to rule out some crazies out there, I mean, the …

NASA: Asteroid 2012 Da14 Will Not be Hitting the Earth Today NASA: Asteroid 2012 Da14 Will Not be Hitting the Earth Today

Today at around 2:20 pm EST an asteroid named 2012 da14 will come within 17,200 miles of the surface of Earth. Almost one year ago NASA was able to determine that the asteroid definitely does not pose a danger to …

Asteroid Flyby to be Live-Streamed by NASA Asteroid Flyby to be Live-Streamed by NASA
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On February 15, tomorrow, an asteroid named 2012 DA14 will fly within several thousand miles of the surface of the Earth. At its closest approach the asteroid will come within 17,200 miles of the Earth’s surface – a harrowingly close …

Young Black Hole May Have Been Formed in Rare Supernova Young Black Hole May Have Been Formed in Rare Supernova
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Astronomers have found evidence that suggests the youngest black hole in the Milky Way galaxy may reside in the remnants of a rare supernova. The remnant, named W49B, is only around 1,000 years old and only 26,000 light-years from Earth. …

“Strobe Light” Star Spotted by NASA Telescopes “Strobe Light” Star Spotted by NASA Telescopes

NASA this week revealed that astronomers have discovered a mysterious object that acts like a strobe light. The object, named LRLL 54361, releases a flash of light every 25.34 days. Though other objects in the universe have been observed with …

Earth-Sized Planets May be Close by, Shows Study Earth-Sized Planets May be Close by, Shows Study
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Astronomers this week published a new study that estimates six percent of red dwarf stars may have Earth-sized planets orbiting within their “habitable zone” – the area around a star in which liquid water can exist on the surface of …

IBEX’s Giant Interstellar “Ribbon” Explained IBEX’s Giant Interstellar “Ribbon” Explained

A new study using data from NASA‘s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission has put forth an explanation for an interstellar “ribbon” of energetic neutral atoms. The ribbon confounded researchers in 2009 when IBEX was able to map the interstellar boundary …

Comet ISON Spotted by NASA’s Deep Impact Comet ISON Spotted by NASA’s Deep Impact

NASA‘s Deep Impact spacecraft has snapped several images of the comet ISON (C/2012 S1). The images were obtained over 36 hours on January 17 and 18, from a distance of 793 million km (493 million miles). The comet is expected …

Asteroid to Give Earth a Near Miss on February 15 Asteroid to Give Earth a Near Miss on February 15
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NASA this weekend revealed that an asteroid named 2012 DA14 will come very close to Earth on February 15. The object will swing within 27,700 kilometers (17,200 miles) of the Earth’s surface – close enough to pass within the geosynchronous …

Cassini Spotted Storm Eating Itself on Saturn Cassini Spotted Storm Eating Itself on Saturn

NASA‘s Cassini probe has spotted a storm on Saturn that has “consumed” itself. The massive storm whirled around the planet until it ran into its own tail end and dispersed. A new paper on the event, published in the journal …

Late Planet-Forming Star Spotted by Herschel Late Planet-Forming Star Spotted by Herschel

NASA and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel Space Telescope has spotted a planet-forming star that wasn’t thought to be possible. The star, named TW Hydrae, is estimated to be 10 million years old – older than the age at …

NASA Joins Euclid Dark Universe Mission NASA Joins Euclid Dark Universe Mission

NASA announced this week that it has joined the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Euclid mission. The mission will investigate dark matter and dark energy throughout the universe. In 2020, the mission will launch the Euclid space telescope, which will spend …

Rogue Planet Orbit Spotted by NASA’s Hubble Rogue Planet Orbit Spotted by NASA’s Hubble
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New images of the Fomalhaut star system could show evidence of a “titanic planetary disruption.” Astronomers have found that the debris belt in the system is wider than was thought, and that a “rogue” planet has a precarious orbit that …

NASA Picture Shows Largest-Seen Spiral Galaxy NASA Picture Shows Largest-Seen Spiral Galaxy
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Astronomers this week unveiled a new image of the largest spiral galaxy known to exist. A larger version of the image can be seen here. The galaxy, named NGC 6872, was crowned with the title following an examination of archival …

“Doomsday” Asteroid Won’t Hit Earth in 2036 “Doomsday” Asteroid Won’t Hit Earth in 2036
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Earlier this week, astronomers with the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that they were collecting data on the asteroid Apophis as it made its most recent approach to Earth. The data was, among other things, meant to narrow the prediction …

New NASA Video Shows Massive Pulsar Jet in Action New NASA Video Shows Massive Pulsar Jet in Action

NASA this week released footage that shows exactly what a jet of particles shooting out from around a pulsar looks like. Astronomers say the new research could provide new insight into these super-dense objects. The video features the Vela pulsar, …

Vega Asteroid Belt Suggests Multiple Planets Vega Asteroid Belt Suggests Multiple Planets

Astronomers this week announced that they have discovered what could be an asteroid belt around the star Vega. NASA‘s Spitzer space telescope and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory were used to observe the star, which is the …

Asteroid Apophis Approaches Earth, 2036 Impact Probability Still Uncertain Asteroid Apophis Approaches Earth, 2036 Impact Probability Still Uncertain
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Over the past weekend, astronomers used the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory to image an asteroid that will be giving the Earth a near-miss in 2029. The asteroid, named Apophis, was thought to have a 2.7% chance of …